Net profits of five Lebanese listed banks down 5.5% in first half

It added that the figures excluded the results of Bank of Beirut

  

BEIRUT: Five of the six Lebanese banks listed on the Beirut Stock Exchange have seen their aggregate profits drop by 5.5 percent to $570 million in the first half of 2019.

“The financial results of five out of six banks listed on the Beirut Stock Exchange, which are Byblos Bank, BLOM Bank, BLC Bank, Bank Audi and Banque BEMO, show that the banks’ aggregate net profits reached $570.5 million in the first half of 2019, constituting a decline of 5.5 percent from net earnings of $603.9 million in the first half of 2018,” Byblos Bank’s Lebanon This Week bulletin said Monday.

It added that the figures excluded the results of Bank of Beirut.

The lender hasn’t released its results yet, and has reissued its balance sheet and income statement for the first half of 2018 according to arrangements with Banque du Liban and as per international accounting standards.

“The bank restated its balance sheet and income statement for the first half of 2018 and for full-year 2018 to reflect the accounting changes,” the report said.

The report did not explain the reasons behind the drop in profits of the five banks.

But bankers have repeatedly warned that new taxes would have a major impact on the profitability of lenders this year.

It added that the total pretax profits of the five banks decreased by 7.8 percent year-on-year to $696.3 million in the first half of 2019.

“The net interest income of the five banks, including net interest revenues on financial instruments, totaled $1.1 billion in the covered period, and decreased by 7.2 percent from $1.2 billion in the first half of 2018; while their receipts from net fees and commissions declined by 7 percent year-on-year to $217.8 million,” Byblos Bank said in its report.

The total operating income of the listed banks, excluding Bank of Beirut, reached $1.4 billion in the first half of 2019 and regressed by 6.9 percent from $1.5 billion in the same period of 2018.

The five banks’ cost-to-income ratio increased from 45.4 percent in the first half of 2018 to 46.1 percent in the same period of 2019.

The total assets of the five publicly listed banks reached $118.7 billion at the end of June 2019, up by 2.3 percent from end-2018 and by 6.8 percent from end-June 2018.

Their total loans, including those to related parties, stood at $26.1 billion at end-June 2019 and fell by 7.5 percent from end-2018 and by 12.6 percent year-on-year.

Total customer deposits , excluding the deposits of Bank of Beirut, reached $83.1 billion at end-June 2019, and grew by 0.6 percent from end-2018.

The five banks’ aggregate equity, including subordinated notes, stood at $10.8 billion at the end of June 2019, down by 1.7 percent from end-2018 but up by 0.5 percent from a year earlier.

Their aggregate loans-to-deposits ratio stood at 31.4 percent at the end of June 2019 compared to 34.2 percent at end-2018.

The report noted that the consolidated balance sheet of all commercial banks operating in Lebanon showed that total assets stood at $256 billion at the end of June 2019, constituting an increase of 2.6 percent from $249.5 billion at the end of 2018 and an expansion of 9.1 percent from $234.6 billion at end-June 2018.

“Loans extended to the private sector reached $56 billion at the end of June 2019, regressing by 5.7 percent from end-2018 and by 6 percent from a year earlier.

“Loans to the resident private sector totaled $49.4 billion, constituting decreases of 5.5 percent from the end of 2018 and of 7 percent from end-June 2018,” the Lebanon This Week report added.

Total private-sector deposits of all Lebanese banks reached $172.1 billion at the end of June 2019, decreasing by 1.2 percent from the end of 2018 and by a marginal 0.7 percent from end-June 2018.

Deposits in Lebanese pounds reached the equivalent of $49.1 billion at end-June 2019, down by 4.2 percent from end-2018 and by 10.4 percent from a year earlier, while deposits in foreign currency totaled $123.1 billion.

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